Obama Administration Will Recognize Utah’s Gay Marriages; NOM Calls Decision ‘Outrageous’

by KATHERINE WEBER, CHRISTIAN POST  |  published on January 10, 2014

The Department of Justice announced Friday that it will recognize the same-sex marriages that were legalized in Utah since the Dec. 20 ruling that overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The National Organization for Marriage has called the federal government’s decision “outrageous,” saying it signals the Obama administration has no regard “for the Constitution and the rule of law.”

“It is outrageous that the Justice Department would move so brazenly and publicly to undermine Utah’s standing constitutional provision regulating marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a videotaped message released Friday that the same-sex marriages will be recognized for federal purposes. “These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds,” Holder said.

“In the days ahead, we will continue to coordinate across the federal government to ensure the timely provision of every federal benefit to which Utah couples and couples throughout the country are entitled – regardless of whether they in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages,” he added. The Department of State’s decision is in accordance with the June Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, thus awarding federal benefits to same-sex couples.

Holder clarified that the federal government will recognize the Utah marriages while the state continues with the appeals process in the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “In the meantime, I am confirming today that, for purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages.”

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